The Australian, 6 August 2015. Bellamy’s: Asian middle class key to formula, says Laura McBain, by Eli Greenblat.

An edited extract of the original article is reproduced below.

Laura McBain, the boss of infant milk formula group Bellamy’s Australia (formerly Tasmanian Pure Foods)… says the group is more than just a play on China’s rapacious appetite for quality, organic food as it casts its net widely across Asia’s burgeoning middle class from India to Malaysia…

Ms McBain told The ­Australian’s Global Food Forum at its Melbourne dinner on Tuesday night (that), “ we always thought that we needed balance so for the same reason we wanted to break out of just being Australian dependent, we don’t just want to be China ­dependent either.”…

The ­Tasmanian-based food group (has) a market capitalisation of more than $500 million…

The only Australian producer of certified organic infant formula and baby food producer, Bellamy’s has proved a huge success locally but also increasingly overseas where Asian customers have warmed to the provenance of its food and regard highly Australia’s reputation for safe dairy products. Bellamy’s reaps 15 per cent of total sales from overseas, with the majority of that coming from China.

But Ms McBain said the company’s growth opportunities were also strong outside of the giant Chinese economy and its tens of millions of middle-class families, with sales to a host of nations such as India, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam just as important. “So we look at the whole market and say that Southeast Asia is a great opportunity for us. We have invested people into our Singapore team in order to ­service the markets in Malaysia, in Singapore, in Vietnam and we have still got opportunities in ­Indonesia and The Philippines.”

She said that “there is a massive shift now… toward understanding where your food comes from and how it is made (which is driving sales)… Organic fits into that really well.

“And it’s the middle class that want to understand, their level of education about food is increasing they are engaged by their food and where it comes from. They are thinking back to the way their grandparents lived … and they are saying ‘how come we live this lifestyle that we are living but don’t have this access to these great products?”…

 

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